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A new strategy for monitoring the condition of adjustable speed induction machine drive systems is presented in this paper. The main concept of the new method is to use the inverter to perform off-line tests for quality assessment of the vulnerable components in the inverter, cable, and induction motor automatically whenever the motor is stopped. This new approach is suitable for monitoring system components that deteriorate gradually to failure, if the degradation is observable. Off-line test methods for monitoring the quality of the 1) dc-link aluminum electrolytic capacitor; 2) electrical connections; 3) cable and stator winding insulation; 4) stator core; and 5) rotor bar are presented along with a summary of the failure mechanism and existing test methods. It will be shown that the new strategy can be implemented with minimal hardware requirements, and that it has many advantages over existing off-line and on-line tests. An experimental study performed under simulated fault conditions for each component shows that the method provides a reliable and sensitive indication of drive system problems for reliable, efficient, and safe operation.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2011